1. Taking on more responsibilities outside the home.
When someone or something beckons your attention, know whether or not it is necessary to address the need right then and there, most often it is not. But pushy people will make you feel like you need to do everything right now.
2. Shopping with children when you don't really have to.
Is it necessary to bring children along when you shop? Sending someone who is already going to the store or out and about to get a few things for you is so much easier than packing everyone up and hauling them out. Besides, you know you will end up spending more money than you want toting the team around. "I'm hungry...Could we stop there? Mom, I want that...Mom, he's bothering me!" You know how the children can be sometimes.
3. Helping a partner with his or her tasks when you know you can't or just don't want to.
You are still a good wife/girlfriend even when you say, "No, honey. I really can't help right now. I just don't feel well...I need to unwind. I have too much on my mind right now." Then go be alone for awhile.
4. Staying on the phone or Internet for hours at a time listening or reading about someone else's troubles.
It isn't any wonder you are on edge? Throw in the issues at work and you just might explode on someone. Best to chill out.
5. Discussing your problems with those who can't help you in the least.
Can loved ones and friends really help relieve your stress? If you believe they can, then why not take them up on their offers of "If you need anything..." Tell them what you need.
You have different rooms in your residence for good reason, use one and give yourself a time out. You have shut off buttons on electronic devices, use them. You have one mouth and two ears, do more listening (like sitting still and listening to your Maker) and less talking. Find ways to alleviate your stress in the future if it means delegating more responsibilities at work (like take a day off) and home (like ridding yourself of unnecessary things that no longer solve problems). Also, think about cutting back from civic group involvement. Further, tell your children that you can't keep running to every game, performance, etc. If they are getting to be too much, consider canceling the activities. Enlist the help of others who can come out and show their support if this isn't an option for you.
Far too many women run themselves ragged trying to be everything to everyone and unfortunately they end up not being the nicest people to be around. Partners talk of divorce, children bad mouth their mothers, and others become distant. Monitor your stress levels and know when to pull back a bit from life.
Nicholl McGuire is the author of Socially Sweet, Privately Cruel Abusive Men, Tell Me Mother You're Sorry, Say Goodbye to Dad, and other books.